The Intricacies of Fashion – A Saga of Waists, Hemlines and Bust-lines

Many women become slaves to the trends and designs of fashion and addicted to the ever changing styles that designers are able to impose on them. This had been the same since, and even before the mid-1800s, when the long flowing dress’s women wore, were part of the everyday life. 

When considering this, it is fascinating and somewhat amusing to see the earnest attention that has been paid to the portrayal of a woman’s waist, hemline and bust-line and the various aspects displayed by the name of fashion.   In fact, it has been one of the most influential and vital factors to the overall look of women’s fashion generally, over the years.  One from which we have not looked back. 

Do You Have a Waist?

The tiny waist for women had been avidly sought after since the nineteenth century, when corsets were used to pull the waist in as tight as possible, giving the appearance of an ultra slim waist.  This was emphasized even more, by the following dress.  A number of petticoats were worn under the dress, to give the appearance of a fuller figure, and was accompanied with a very slim waist. 

However, the world of fashion developed a style of a more standard appearance in the 1900s.  It was in 1910 when the women’s dress tended to produce a gentler look, not harsh and tightly fitting, as had been the case in the 1800s.  Women no longer required the need of help, in reducing their waist to the minimum possible, as the fashion had, thankfully, progressed and changed accordingly.  A more relaxed approach had been introduced to a woman’s dress, and relief was experienced by the female gender.  Fashion was now enjoyable once more. 

The Hemline Approach

1920 saw the new high-waisted look appear with the flapper style, as it was known.  This style enabled emphasis to be taken away from the natural waistline, and placed upon the hemline of the skirt instead, drastically shortening it to what was seen to be an extremely short skirt by previous standards.  This was regarded as one of the radical changes that had occurred for several centuries.  In fact, this alteration to hemlines has remained ever since, apart from the occasional lapse to longer lengths.   As the new, raised hemline was seen as a pleasant relief by the male gender, because waistlines and bust-lines were now ignored, this eventually gave way to a more masculine look for women. 

However, relief was at hand, as in the 1930s, a much more graceful image was introduced, reverting to a normal waistline again but, to the delight of most women, not as small as it had once been.  A more womanly appearance was now required, and the dress was designed accordingly. 

My Bust-line is My Best Line.

As the forties approached, still the little waist remained.  However, more importance was placed on the bust line which gave the impression of an even smaller waistline.  The overall effect was enhanced even further by the introduction of fuller skirts.  As we progressed to the fifties, the fashion changed again, but this time it was shoulders that were the center of attention and the high-waisted look returned. 

It was the 1960s when a woman’s dress became remarkably shorter, which gave its name to the mini skirt.  It was definitely a major happening and one that caused much publicity.  Every single woman had to wear a mini skirt, despite their size and age: the demand was amazing.  Now that the focus had been withdrawn from their waist, many females could dress in comfort once more. 

In fact, from the sixties onwards, the woman’s waist has not actually made a comeback to the extreme proportions seen back in the 1800s.  This is looked upon by many females very favorably as different fashions are worn.  So if you tend to have a large waistline; it certainly does not need to alter how you dress.

Doc. No:BC-1103-ULT10-847f

Brandon Clark is an avid fan of the fashion industry – check out his favorite Womens Laptop Bags, Handbags and Straw Studios at the lowest prices guaranteed!

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